Year-to-date, there are 172 WNV-positive mosquito samples in 19 Orange County cities. A total of 23 dead birds have tested positive for WNV this year. Nine confirmed human cases have been reported.
Mosquitoes with WNV have been detected in the cities of Anaheim (27), Brea (6), Buena Park (12), Costa Mesa (3), Cypress (1), Fountain Valley (1), Fullerton (8), Garden Grove (5), Huntington Beach (1), La Habra (91), Lake Forest (1), La Palma (1), Orange (3), San Clemente (1), San Juan Capistrano (1), Santa Ana (5), Seal Beach (2), Westminster (2), and Yorba Linda (2).
Human infections have been reported in Anaheim (4), Buena Park (1), La Habra (3), and Laguna Beach (1).
West Nile virus is transmitted to humans via the bite of infected mosquitoes, which become infected when feeding on birds carrying the virus. West Nile virus infections are often mild or asymptomatic, but the virus can cause significant cognitive and neurological symptoms in some patients, and possibly death.
"If planning to spend time outdoors this Labor Day weekend, wear mosquito repellent." said Mary-Joy Coburn, OCMVCD spokeswoman. "This simple step could save you a trip to the hospital, or even worse.”
Additional tips for preventing mosquito bites:
- Wear loose-fitting long sleeves and long pants to reduce mosquito bites. Light colors and tighter weave fabrics are best.
- Apply mosquito repellents to exposed skin before going outdoors. Reapply repellent as recommended on the label.
- The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend products with the active ingredients DEET, Picaridin, IR3535, some oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products as being safe and effective.
- Cover cribs, strollers, and baby carriers with mosquito netting for babies under 2 months, and use only EPA registered repellents on older children. Oil of lemon eucalyptus should not be used on children younger than 3 years of age.
- Avoid spending time outdoors at dawn or dusk, when mosquitoes are most active
Residents can do a variety of things to help protect themselves and the community, and to help reduce the risk from mosquitoes this season:
Drain standing water: Eliminate standing water around the home or office
Install or repair screens: Keep mosquitoes out with tight fitting screens on all windows and doors
Report any large breeding sites in your neighborhood to OCMVCD:
Abandoned or neglected swimming pools
Accumulations of trash and containers capable of holding water
Residents are encouraged to sign-up for District email notification, follow OCMVCD on social media, and visit the website for the most current West Nile virus information:
(714) 971-2421 or (949) 654-2421, or visit www.ocvector.org.